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THE A-to-Z of Homeschooling
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North Carolina Home School Laws

North Carolina homeschooling laws and requirements

Requirements to homeschool in North Carolina. North Carolina homeschooling laws. Ways to homeschool legally within North Carolina homeschooling laws.

This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates to the North Carolina Home School Laws at your public library or at this link for the state:

The North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education

Compulsory attendance – Between 7 and 16 years of age.

Parents must have at least a high school diploma or GED.

May include two households or families.


Parents must administer an annual standardized test any time during the school year.

If your home school will begin initial operation in the fall school term, please send the notice of intent between July 1 and August 15, of the current year.

*This is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates at your public library or at this link for the state:

North Carolina Education Code: Sections Relevant to Homeschoolers

SUBCHAPTER X. PRIVATE AND PROPRIETARY SCHOOLS.

Chapter 115C Article 39 115C-547 through 115C-565

Part 3. Home Schools.

§ 115C-563. Definitions.
As used in this Part or Parts 1 and 2 of this section [Article]:
(a) “Home school” means a nonpublic school consisting of the children of not more than two families or households, where the parents or legal guardians or members of either household determine the scope and sequence of academic instruction, provide academic instruction, and determine additional sources of academic instruction. It is effective at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year.
(b) “Duly authorized representative of the State” means the Director, Division of Nonpublic Education, or his staff.

§ 115C-564. Qualifications and requirements.
A home school shall make the election to operate under the qualifications of either Part 1 or Part 2 of this Article and shall meet the requirements of the Part elected, except that any requirement related to safety and sanitation inspections shall be waived if the school operates in a private residence and except that testing requirements in G.S. 115C-549 and G.S. 115C-557 shall be on an annual basis. The persons providing academic instruction in a home school shall hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.

§ 115C-565. Requirements exclusive.
No school which complies with this Part shall be subject to any other provision of law relating to education except requirements of law respecting immunization.

Part 1. Private Church Schools and Schools of Religious Charter.

§ 115C-547. Policy.
In conformity with the Constitutions of the United States and of North Carolina, it is the public policy of the State in matters of education that “No human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience,” or with religious liberty and that “religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind . . . the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

§ 115C-548. Attendance; health and safety regulations.
Each private church school or school of religious charter shall make, and maintain annual attendance and disease immunization records for each pupil enrolled and regularly attending classes. Attendance by a child at any school to which this Part relates and which complies with this Part shall satisfy the requirements of compulsory school attendance: Provided, however, that such school operates on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year. Each school shall be subject to reasonable fire, health and safety inspections by State, county and municipal authorities as required by law.

§ 115C-549. Standardized testing requirements.
Each private church school or school of religious charter shall administer, at least once in each school year, a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measurement selected by the chief administrative officer of such school, to all students enrolled or regularly attending grades three, six and nine. The nationally standardized test or other equivalent measurement selected must measure achievement in the areas of English grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics. Each school shall make and maintain records of the results achieved by its students. For one year after the testing, all records shall be made available, subject to the provision of G.S. 115C-196, at the principal office of such school, at all reasonable times, for annual inspection by a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina.

§ 115C-550. High school competency testing.
To assure that all high school graduates possess those minimum skills and that knowledge thought necessary to function in society, each private church school or school of religious charter shall administer at least once in each school year, a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measure selected by the chief administrative officer of such school, to all students enrolled and regularly attending the eleventh grade. The nationally standardized test or other equivalent measurement selected must measure competencies in the verbal and quantitative areas. Each private church school or school of religious charter shall establish a minimum score which must be attained by a student on the selected test in order to be graduated from high school. For one year after the testing, all records shall be made available, subject to the provision of G.S. 115C-196, at the principal office of such school, at all reasonable times, for annual inspection by a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina. (1979,

§ 115C-551. Voluntary participation in the State programs.
Any such school may, on a voluntary basis, participate in any State operated or sponsored program which would otherwise be available to such school, including but not limited to the high school competency testing and statewide testing programs.

§ 115C-552. New school notice requirements; termination.
(a) Any new school to which this Part relates shall send to a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina a notice of intent to operate, name and address of the school, and name of the school’s owner and chief administrator.
(b) Any school to which this Part applies shall notify a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina upon termination of the school.

§ 115C-553. Duly authorized representative.
The duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina to whom reports of commencing operation and termination shall be made and who may inspect certain records under this Part shall be designated by the Governor.

§ 115C-554. Requirements exclusive.
No school, operated by any church or other organized religious group or body as part of its religious ministry, which complies with the requirements of this Part shall be subject to any other provision of law relating to education except requirements of law respecting fire, safety, sanitation and immunization.

Part 2. Qualified Nonpublic Schools.

§ 115C-555. Qualification of nonpublic schools.
The provisions of this Part shall apply to any nonpublic school which has one or more of the following characteristics:
(1) It is accredited by the State Board of Education.
(2) It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
(3) It is an active member of the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools.
(4) It receives no funding from the State of North Carolina.


§ 115C-556. Attendance; health and safety regulations.
Each qualified nonpublic school shall make, and maintain annual attendance and disease immunization records for each pupil enrolled and regularly attending classes. Attendance by a child at any school to which this Part relates and which complies with this Part shall satisfy the requirements of compulsory school attendance: Provided, however, that such school operates on a regular schedule, excluding reasonable holidays and vacations, during at least nine calendar months of the year. Each school shall be subject to reasonable fire, health and safety inspections by State, county and municipal authorities as required by law.

§ 115C-557. Standardized testing requirements.
Each qualified nonpublic school shall administer, at least once in each school year, a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measurement selected by the chief administrative officer of such school, to all students enrolled or regularly attending grades three, six and nine. The nationally standardized test or other equivalent measurement selected must measure achievement in the areas of English grammar, reading, spelling and mathematics. Each school shall make and maintain records of the results achieved by its students. For one year after the testing, all records shall be made available, subject to the provision of G.S. 115C-196, at the principal office of such school, at all reasonable times, for annual inspection by a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina.

§ 115C-558. High school competency testing.
To assure that all high school graduates possess those minimum skills and that knowledge thought necessary to function in society, each qualified nonpublic school shall administer at least once in each school year, a nationally standardized test or other nationally standardized equivalent measure selected by the chief administrative officer of such school, to all students enrolled and regularly attending the eleventh grade. The nationally standardized test or other equivalent measurement selected must measure competencies in the verbal and quantitative areas. Each qualified nonpublic school shall establish a minimum score which must be attained by a student on the selected test in order to be graduated from high school. For one year after the testing, all records shall be made available, subject to the provision of G.S. 115C-196, at the principal office of such school, at all reasonable times, for annual inspection by a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina.

§ 115C-559. Voluntary participation in the State programs.
Any such school may, on a voluntary basis, participate in any State operated or sponsored program which would otherwise be available to such school, including but not limited to the high school competency testing and statewide testing programs.

§ 115C-560. New school notice requirements; termination.
(a) Any new school to which this Part relates shall send to a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina a notice of intent to operate, name and address of the school, and name of the school’s owner and chief administrator.
(b) Any school to which this Part applies shall notify a duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina upon termination of the school.

§ 115C-561. Duly authorized representative.
The duly authorized representative of the State of North Carolina to whom reports of commencing operation and termination shall be made and who may inspect certain records under this Part shall be designated by the Governor.

§ 115C-562. Requirements exclusive.
No qualifying nonpublic school, which complies with the requirements of this Part, shall be subject to any other provision of law relating to education except requirements of law respecting fire, safety, sanitation and immunization.

Before beginning homeschooling, you must notify the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education of your intent to homeschool. You must obtain, from that office, and complete the form “Notice of Intent to Operate a School in North Carolina.” Attach photocopies of documentation that you, as the home school teacher, hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent.

If, in the estimation of officials your home school meets legal requirements, it will be considered a private school.


Complying with the North Carolina State Home School Law
During the 1988 session of the North Carolina General Assembly, Article 39 of chapter 115C of the General Statutes was amended to allow home instruction, under certain conditions, as a means of complying with compulsory school attendance requirements. From NCHE.

Division of Non-Public Education
The State of North Carolina home school statistical year begins each July 1 and concludes the following June 30. However, home schools may initiate opening during any month of the year except for two weeks during the month of June.

More Information about Homeschooling in North Carolina

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